Skip to main content
6:00 am
6:01 am
it's time for "end point." roland, start us off. >> elections have consequences. there is no doubt the butt kicking the gop took in november plays a critical role to what's happened with immigration reform so maybe whether it's democrat or republican in the future, get beat, things might change. >> cameron the final word and last ten seconds. >> i was totally excited to see so much bipartisan support for immigration and i hope that carries through to all president obama's agenda items. >> time to wake up. >> great to hear people talking together. we are out of time. "cnn newsroom" with carol costello begins now. hey carol, good morning. >> hi, soledad. stories in "the newsroom" a young hostage taken underground to a bunker. killer violent storms on the move, at least one person is reported dead in nashville, tornado warnings popping up across the southeast, the entire east coast could soon be in the
6:02 am
danger zone. ray lewis, reverend ray? people call him reverend ray? >> yes. >> does he it he serve that title? >> he does, he's a jacklegged preacher without a license, no bible college but it's just in him. he can't help it. >> we talked to the pastor who put lewis on the road to redempti redemption. toyota hits the breaks. automakeer announcing a massive recall for two popular models. find out if your car is at risk. "newsroom" starts now. good morning and thank you for joining us. i'm carol costello, on the same day a senate committee looks at the problem of gun violence in the united states, police work around the clock to save a 6-year-old boy held hostage by a man with a gun. for the past 17 hours that little boy has been held in an underground bunker in midland
6:03 am
city, alabama, not far from the georgia border. police say the boy was taken after an armed man got aboard a school bus, demanded children, shot and killed the bus driver, and then fled to that underground bunker with the boy. neighbors describes what they've been told. >> i talked to the girl that was on the school bus and she told me he came on the bus with a gun, shot into the ceiling or the floor board once and shot the bus driver three times after asking for a child, two children between 6 and 8. the school bus driver apparently he did everything he could, he said you can't do that, threw the bus into reverse, floored the gas and that's when the bus alarm came on and tried to get out of the way but it was too late, he already shot the bus driver three times. >> our affiliate wdhn says the gunman is a 65-year-old man, reporter josh roltenberg is on the phone with us from alabama hi, josh.
6:04 am
>> reporter: hey, carol, how are you? >> this is a terrible story. are police in contact with the kidnaper or the little boy? >> reporter: i do know that they were in contact with the kidnaper last night. there was a point in time just after midnight central time when they did cut off communication with the kidnaper because he reportedly was going to go to sleep. right now, more police are back on the scene, and we have not been told yet if they are back in contact with the kidnaper this morning, but we do know they were talking with him last night. >> was this school bus targeted by this gunman? >> reporter: as far as we can tell, that is not the case. we do know that the 65-year-old man, jimmy lee dykes had mental issues and he apparently just stormed the bus. we do not know the reason why as of yet bute do not know also if he targeted this bus. it doesn't seem like that's the
6:05 am
case. >> what about this child? why did he take this particular little boy? >> reporter: well, it's been reported that this little boy could be a special needs child and perhaps even autistic. once the gunshots were fired at the bus driver, the other kids were able to get off the bus but this was the one boy that was not able to do so, and that's why he was taken. >> just a final question for you, the 65-year-old suspect, he's been building this bunker for, what, the last two years or four months? why does he have a bunker? >> reporter: to be honest, we do not know the answer to that question. we just know that he has been building this bunker for several, for quite some time and we do know this, because he's been doing it for such a long time, he even reportedly has enough food and supplies to last him inside that bunker for four months. >> unbelievable. wdhn reporter josh raltenberg thank you for filling us in. this latest act of gun
6:06 am
violence could add urgency on capitol hill. the long dormant gun control debate has been revived by the horrific shooting sprees at sandy hook elementary and the movie theater in aurora, colorado. one of the people testifying today will be former congresswoman gabrielle giffords, herself a victim of gun violence and deeply moved by the massacre in connecticut. >> when it can happen to children in a classroom, it's time to say -- >> enough. >> giffords will be joined by her husband, former astronaut mark kelly. together they've launched a campaign against gun violence. also testifying the nra's wayne lapierre. the nra reached out to its members urging them to attend this senate committee hearing. in an e-mail and online in a posting the gun lobby group says "you can bet the anti-gunners
6:07 am
will be trying to mobilize their supporters to pack the hearing room and we need to make sure that the room is filled with second amendment supporters!" dana bash is on capitol hill this morning and finding out all sorts of stuff this morning for example there was a move to bring guns into the senate committee hearing, is that going to happen? >> reporter: it's not and it was a move by two of the republican senators on the committee, two of the chief supports of gun rights, lindsey graham and ted cruz. i'm told by a spokesman for graham they're not going to do this because of lots of red tape and bureaucracy in order to allow them to do this. first and foremost assault weapons are not legal in the district of columbia so they gave up and lindsey graham is going to have pictures and posters of these weapons as his show and tell, not the actual weapons themselves. >> gotcha. you also talked to mark kelly about his testimony. what did he tell you especially about the nra?
6:08 am
>> reporter: very interesting. mark kelly and gabby giffords, his wife, they are both gun owners. kelly told me he considered joining the nra but he never got around to it. he also told me that when it comes to his testimony here, he's going to be sitting at one side of the witness table, wayne lapierre of the nra at the other. he hopes that they can have a conversation that can really start to do something. two staunch supporters of the second amendment, two very different views on guns. >> they're god-given freedoms. they belong to us. in the united states of america, as our birthright. no government gave them to us and no government can ever take them away. >> i defended the second amendment flying in combat over iraq and kuwait. you know, defending our country. gabby owns a gun, i own a gun, this really isn't only about the second amendment. >> reporter: these will be the star witnesses at congress's first hearing on guns since
6:09 am
newtown. mark kelly, husband of former congresswoman gabby giffords who survived a gunshot through the head, six people died in the attack. the couple are gun owners themselves. kelly tells cnn they even used to practice at an nra range. now, they're taking on the powerful gun lobby. kelly also tells cnn they support extensive gun control, including restricting high capacity weapons like the one used by giffords' shooter. >> it was taken down after unloading ten rounds in a magazine, then there would be other people that died that day that would be alive today. >> reporter: as the nra's executive director, wayne lapierre is the premiere defender of gun rights. his prepared testimony released by the nra sounds familiar warnings, "law-abiding gun owner also not accept blame for the acts of violent or deranged criminals, nor do we believe the government should dictate what we can lawfully own and use to protect our families." lapierre certainly will have
6:10 am
plenty of avid defenders on the committee holding the hearing like orrin hatch. >> after years of being pushed around it's tough not to be combative. wayne lapierre is one of the nicest, kindest people you'll ever meet but he really does believe in the second amendment, as do i. >> reporter: he'll go head to head with dianne feinstein. >> he makes his claim everybody is entitled to these weapons. my view is everybody is entitled to be safe. >> reporter: she called the nravennra nra venal but insists it's not personal. >> he's there for gun people to allow them to have these guns regardless. they have fought virtually every kind of regulation. the time has come to change course. >> reporter: feinstein will not only have to convince republicans of that at this hearing today, she's also going
6:11 am
to have some work to do with some of her democratic colleagues, the chairman, patrick leahy is a gun owner, a supporter of gun rights so there is a little bit of tension i think it's fair to say between feinstein and leahy because she felt the witnesses were a little bit skewed towards those who are in favor of gun rights and not where she stands in favor of gun control. >> the senate k hearing will get under way at 10:01 eastern time, just about an hour from now. dana bash hthank you so much. we'll have full live coverage, you'll hear every single word. one person reported dead in nashville this morning, as a line of severe thunderstorms pushes east. the system covers a lot of ground from texas to illinois, and virginia. tornadoes have been reported, wind gusts as strong as 80 miles per hour are knocking out power to thousands of people, let's bring in indra petersen in the cnn weather center. tell us more. >> currently we do not have any tornado warnings in effect but
6:12 am
notice the instability that remains especially as you look down towards mississippi and even alabama, tornado watches are in effect until about 4:00 p.m., even in atlanta as a couple cells developed ahead of the squall lines. we'll watch the severe weather threat through the evening. the jet stream is slowly starting to lift off to the northeast but nonetheless this severe weather threat will stay with us straight through the evening hours. we'll look at severe weather from the mid-atlantic regions down through the southeast. this is not just going to be an event with isolated tornadoes. we have a lot of straight line winds out there, strong gusts, even 105-mile-per-hour wind reported east of nashville this morning and the flooding threat as we continue to see these heavy rains. >> indra petersons, thanks so much. deer, antler spray, a banned substance? who knew. according to "sports illustrated" ray lewis not only knew but used the substance to heal faster. apparently there is a banned substance made from deer antlers that stimulates muscle growth.
6:13 am
lewis tore his triceps in october, an injury so serious it could have ended his season. "sports illustrated" said lewis used antler spray to heal. he dismisses the report. >> every test in the nfl there's never been a question if i ever even thought about using anything. so to even entertain stupidity like that, tell them to get a story off somebody else. >> most like lire lewis' fans are dismissing the reports because lewis is much more than a football player in baltimore. they call him reverend ray, as his pastor told me, lewis is the mayor, the governor and president obama in a jersey. he's a man who can talk honestly about redemption and who has the power to change lives. ♪ let the glory of the lord >> reporter: the empowerment temple ame church is a wash in
6:14 am
purple from the stage, to the cho choir to the parishioners. >> i need you to lift up your voice, i will not be defeated. >> reporter: the pastor says god is on the ravens side. the pastor helped lead lewis to redemption, to god. people call him reverend ray. >> yes. >> reporter: does he deserve that title? >> he's a jack-legged preacher without a license, no bible college but it's in him, he can't help it. he has spoken here a couple of times, i've put him up to do our bible study and he's like billy graham and bishop jakes wrapped into one. >> please, please -- >> reporter: this is lewis preaching at empowerment temple last year after a rash of shootings in baltimore over labor day weekend. >> we got to change the way our children think, we got to change the way the gangs are dictating and running our streets. we have the ability to do that, but it's called tough love.
6:15 am
>> reporter: fans call lewis' in your face faith and community service beautifully sincere but his critics find it phony, a redemption tour with no true redemption. >> all of the attention glori glorifying him and he was involved in what happened down in atlanta, but yet still people don't seem to care. they're more interested in football. >> reporter: what role did ray lewis play the night two men were murdered? >> reporter: 13 years old wilson's nephew and buddy were stabbed to death outside of an atlanta nightclub. lewis and two others were charged in their murders. four months later lewis pleaded guilty to a much lesser charge, obstruction of justice, and a jury decided the other two killed baker and lawlor in self-defense. >> we're talking about a family member here. this isn't just somebody that was on the street.
6:16 am
we're talking about a family member here that loved them. >> reporter: but today, lewis insists whatever happened in atlanta changed him. >> with everything that i've been through in my whole life, you know, the thing that for me to be here today and my only purpose in life is to find different ways to help people and encourage people and make our world a better place. >> reporter: did you ever sit down and talk to him about what happened in atlanta? >> yes. >> reporter: could you share? >> i'm just glad he's on this side of it. it was anybody who talks about ray lewis can't possibly quote the book of psalms to know that david was a man after god's own heart, after committing adultery, after committing murder, after being negligent on the job, after being taken out of position, is still somebody who god honored and i this i that many times history can't really appreciate it while you're in it. it's only after you walk away. >> reporter: and that says dr. bryant defines redemption. it's not what you've done, it's what you've become.
6:17 am
and what will become of ray lewis after his last ride on super bowl sunday? he's expected to take a job at espn and watch his son play football at the university of miami and you can bet ray lewis will continue to preach in churches around the country. on the eve of the super bowl, cnn is live in new orleans with our take on the biggest sporting event in the country, what it means to the city, how it became a cultural phenomenon and so much more, joining us for kickoff in new orleans as cnn bleacher report special saturday afternoon, 4:00 p.m. eastern. believe it or not, this is the mayor of denver busting a move because he lost a bet. >> good luck, ray-ray. aare [ engine revving ] ♪
6:18 am
[ male announcer ] every car we build must make adrenaline pump and pulses quicken. ♪ to help you not just to stay alive... but feel alive. the new c class is no exception. it's a mercedes-benz through and through. see your authorized mercedes-benz dealer for exceptional offers through mercedes-benz financial services. for exceptional offers do you guys ride? well... no. sometimes, yeah. yes.
6:19 am
well, if you know anybody else who also rides, send them here -- we got great coverage. it's not like bikers love their bikes more than life itself. i doubt anyone will even notice. leading the pack in motorcycle insurance. now, that's progressive. call or click today. aarrggh!
6:20 am
with the super bowl just days away denver's mayor is owning up to a bet he lost with the mayor of baltimore. ♪ oh
6:21 am
>> good luck, ray-ray. >> he's pretty good, don't you think, the mayor michael hancock do you his impressions of ray lewis' dance moves in the playoffs. the broncos beat the ravens in the first loss and he also had to send a box of steaks. ♪ >> good luck ray-ray. toyota says it's recalling more than 1 million cars in the united states from issues ranging from faulty windshield wipers and air bags. the air bags go off randomly in some corollas and windshield wipers in some lexus models may not work under the weight of heavy snow. find out more information on the u.s. business economy shrank in the last quarter,
6:22 am
something completely unexpected. alison kosik is at the new york stock exchange with what this means. >> carol, we expected lousy, we certainly didn't expect this lousy and there are three big reasons, the economy contracted or took a step back during october, november and december of last year. for one, government spending plunged and that's mostly because of a pullback in defense spending. also, there were fewer exports. europe is a huge factor in that, just this week, we learned that growth in spain and the uk is also contracting and that means europe is buying less stuff from us. third, business inventories dropped and that means companies bought less stuff from manufacturers to put on their shelves, the fiscal cliff is likely a big factor in this. spending cuts caused a lot of businesses and the government to pull back and this is a big deal, carol because it's the first time since 2009 that we've seen the economy contract. >> all right, alison kosik reporting live from the new york
6:23 am
stock exchange. we're hearing a lot from this year's super bowl contenders about faith and god. does god play a role in who wins the super bowl? it's our talk back question today, are or tweet me @carolcnn.
6:24 am
6:25 am
6:26 am
now is your chance to talk back on one of the stories of the day, will god decide who wins the super bowl? no disrespect but the super bowl has become the god bowl. its star player so religious there's no mistaking they feel god is on the field playing alongside them. >> i think god watches over everybody. i mean, i don't think he's cheering for one team or another. i think he's helping everybody just trying to keep everybody safe. he has a plan for everyone. >> for the 49ers' quarterback god's message are in tattoos, testimonies to faith, self-confidence and overcoming adversity. one sample from capper knick's tattooed psalm "through a mighty army, though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid, even if i am attacked, i will remain confident." the mighty arm soon to surround capper knick, ray lewis thanks
6:27 am
god beforeber views, often quotes scripture and makes no secret of his devotion to god. his pastor, dr. jamal bryant of the enlightenment temple believes god will be looking out for the ravens and ray lewis come sunday. >> there's absolutely no human way that we should be in new orleans, but it's evidence -- >> reporter: you really think you are athey new orleans because god -- >> absolutely. >> reporter: really? >> absolutely. >> reporter: god cares that much about football? >> he cares that much about redemption. he says a very critical line in the bible says i prepare a table before new the presence of your enemies. >> that pastor bryant's sunday service many parishioners agreed so it may come as no surprise in a new poll by the public religion research institute nearly three in ten americans say god plays a role in the outcome of sporting events. so talk back question for you today, will god decide who wins the super bowl?
6:28 am or tweet me @carolcnn.
6:29 am
sfx: horn. ding. ding. how long have i had my car insurance? i don't know. eight, ten years. i couldn't tell ya' but things were a lot less expensive back then. if you're 50 or over you should take a new look at your auto insurance. you may be overpaying. actually that makes a lot of sense. old policy. old rates. and thanks to your experience behind the wheel, you might save $350 by switching to the aarp auto insurance program from the hartford. plus, you'll get benefits that reward your driving record, like our promise that you won't be dropped. wait, you won't drop me, seriously? that's right, you won't be dropped. and, if you know anyone who's been dropped by their insurance company, you know that's a hassle you don't need. especially these days. plus you'll get recovercare, which helps you pay for everyday needs like housecleaning, lawn care and pet services if you're injured in an accident.
6:30 am
so my auto insurance is going to help pay the housecleaning if i'm injured? did you say lawn care? and if i can't walk my dog, they'll help me pay someone to do it for me? call the number on your screen to switch to the aarp auto insurance program from the hartford and be rewarded for your experience behind the wheel. recovercare, auto insurance that helps take care of me. now i've seen it all. you won't drop me, you take care of me as well as my car, and you offer savings to switch. it's unbelievable! if you're 50 or over call now to request your free quote. i'm gonna call. i'm calling. i'm calling. i'm calling. call today and make the switch to the aarp auto insurance program from the hartford.
6:31 am
why wait? good morning, thank you so much for being with us. i'm "costa concordia." stories we're watching right now in the newsroom at 30 minutes past the hour, opening bell on wall street, stock futures are down after the government said the u.s. economy shrank in the fourth quarter. ringing the bell today, jack lapinsky, president of the energy company cvr refining. we're keeping an eye on a hostage situation in southern alabama. man boarded a school bus and shot and killed the driver, took a 6-year-old hostage and holding him in some sort of underground bunker. police are communicating with the man and they tell us the little boy has not been harmed. in the next hour, the senate judiciary committee holds its first hearing on gun violence
6:32 am
since the newtown massacre last month. we're looking inside this hearing room and wayne lapierre the executive vice president of the nra, you can see him sitting there beside the gentleman in the white hair. wayne lapierre will be testifying later this afternoon. gabrielle giffords, the former congresswoman shot in arizona will give the opening statement for the other side and when that hearing begins, by the way, we'll carry it live. we're expecting it to start in just about 31 minutes. joining me now are jerry henry, executive director of, "georgia's no compromise for gun ownerses and john edwards chief of the oak creek police department, the site of the sikh temple shooting last august. welcome to both of you.. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> jerry, welcome to you. i just want to get this off the table. both of you agree banning all guns is not the answer.
6:33 am
is that right? >> i believe banning any gun is not the answer. >> john? >> i don't believe banning any particular weapon is going to stop these ush us. to me it's a violence issue. >> that's correct. >> so we get that off the table, with he both agree on that. gabrielle giffords, she is going to give a statement before the hearings begin, and as you might expect that probably will be very emotional, because she's been damaged by a gunshot wound to the head and she'll probably be forever damaged. so you know, some might say that's just bringing emotion into a hearing that doesn't need any more emotion. jerry, how do you feel about gabrielle giffords being there? >> i certainly have no problem with her being emotional. she has been through an awful lot and i do not like decisions being made on emotion but the people that are in the hearing are supposed to hear every side or both sides of the hearing or of the issues, and then make the
6:34 am
decision on whether they agree or whether they disagree, their decisions should not be based on emotion, but i don't see how you can keep her from being emotional. >> john, i'm sure you agree, it's hard to take emotion out of this issue. >> absolutely, and she has every right to be there and speak and she should be there. everyone should be heard. we shouldn't be afraid to discuss anything or any part of this, but emotion, we train our officers and i teach it, usually the first answer or response that comes to anyone's mind is an emotional one, when something happens and usually you can think about something you've done in your personal life or professional you wish you wouldn't have said or done and it's usually that emotional response and you have to look at everything, and it's usually not the right response first thing when you look at it. >> jerry, this isart of what wayne lapierre, the executive vice president of the nra, is expected to tell the panel today and i'm going to quote his statement, which the nra sent to us, "when it comes to the issue
6:35 am
of background checks, let's be honest, background checks will never be universal because criminals will never submit to them. the majority of americans are all for background checks. why is the nra so dead set against them? >> because it does nothing. the criminals are going to get firearms. they're not going to subject themselves to background checks. they don't go now because they'll get turned down. they steal them or buy them on the street and as a matter of fact, if you look at 2010 background checks the number of denials and people prosecuted because they were felons trying to buy a gun it's less than 0.008% of the total background checks and the criminals will not go for the background check. >> john, as a law enforcement officer are background checks valuable? >> i think they are valuable and
6:36 am
it was hit on just a second ago is what's being done with those individuals who are trying to purchase a weapon and nothing's done about it. one of the issues in wisconsin is a federal law, certain people cannot possess a gun. people call in to a hotline, the licensed dealers do and people are denied the right for various reasons. i want to be able to have access to that data base or that i'm notified that someone in your community just tried to purchase a gun who shouldn't. that's whey want, people who shouldn't have guns in their hands they shouldn't and we need to prosecute those. we need to be notified and investigate things who are denied and prosecute and that's one of the issues that give it more teeth. >> jerry can you understand john's argument?
6:37 am
>> in the total of the background checks that are extremely small and the criminals know they can't buy a firearm they're not the ones that go. most of the people that get turned down are people with domestic violence in their background and a lot of those did not know they were ineligible because when the law was passed to include domestic violence they made it retroactive and they find out when they get a background check they're prohibited. >> if you two can't find some compromise because -- this is how it seems to me. we'll have these hearings and gun control advocates are going to say one thing, gun rights advocate also say something else and we'll continue to go in this circle and nothing will ever get done. is that what you think will happen, john? >> well, i think one of the issues is that we are, and this is a prime example, we try to put people on one side or the other, and from my perspective, this is a violence issue. we need to figure out what's
6:38 am
causing the violence. we don't arrest the gun when someone commits a crime, we arrest the individual. we need to figure out what causes this. an article in "usa today" yesterday about the will to live. we have to figure out why some of these people have given up on the will to live. that's not the day-to-day but the mass shootings. we shouldn't be on different sides. lot of the proposals the president is putting forward that help law enforcement from getting access to data base, working with schools to identify people before these things happen and get them the help they need. if you have a gun lost or stolen you should report it. we do that with vehicles. if we have a gun crime there may be no record for decades of where that gun was at but if you just report it, my gun was stolen, i don't know why anyone wouldn't be against some of those things. putting us on one side or the other that's what causes some of
6:39 am
the issues because we forget we're all trying to stop the violence. i think we can all agree on that we want the violence to stop. i don't want guns in the hands of people who shouldn't have them. people who have the right to have them, i don't care how many guns they have. it's not the issue. it's those that use it illegally and shouldn't have it. >> i agree 100%. >> good, that's good. >> there you go, we figured it out. >> i love that, both of you guys should be in the senate judiciary hearing. we're going to go live there. dana bash is reporting a huge line of people waiting to get into the hearing room. dana, describe the scene for us. >> it is tremendous. i don't remember a line that has formed that is really this big. i think we have some pictures our photographer just shot, goes down the entire length of this hart building where this hearing is, down the stairs, we're on the second floor, down the stairs, winding around to the first floor, and you know, i was able to speak to some of the people online, doing an
6:40 am
unscientific poll to see why a lot of people were here and surprisingly, most people i talked to are here on the side of gun control, not gun rights and i say surprisingly, we know the nra tried to enlist its members to support their view on gun rights. >> i see it there snaking down the stairs that's incredible. i'm surprised, the nra sent out an e-mail to mobilize its members to come to the committee hearing two hours early so they could get through security. tell us what that procedure is like. >> when you go into any central building for the airport, this is an open building all congressional office buildings are open to the public, you don't need to pass but need to go through security. the security lines were not that bad but this line is pretty remarkable to get into the hearing. not even close to the number of people waiting in line will be able to get into the hearing because the number of seats for
6:41 am
the public are not that great. >> dana bash we'll get back to you. stay with us all of you for the senate hearing scheduled to get under way at 10:00 eastern, that's just about 20 minutes from now, of course we'll have extensive live coverage. email marketing from constant contact reaches people in a place they're checking every day -- their inbox. and it gives you the tools to create
6:42 am
custom emails that drive business. it's just one of the ways constant contact can help you grow your small business. sign up for your free trial today at thyou eat weiyou lose
6:43 am
it's a great plan... until you get hungry. that's the time to take slimful. one tasty 90-calorie slimful and a glass of water satisfies hunger for hours making it easier to eat smaller meals, and resist snacking. your friends might think you found the secret to losing weight. but it's no secret... it's slimful. eating less is a beautiful thing.
6:44 am
the maker of blackberry r.i.m. taking on apple and a host of smartphone makers when it announces the blackberry 10, it will be unveiled in new york at the top of the next hour, which is in about 15 minutes. alison kosik is the at new york stock exchange to tell us more. >> almost as exciting as something new coming out from apple. r.i.m. needs to get everything absolutely right, the design, the hardware, the apps, everything. it has a lot riding on this. the fact of the matter is rim has been using customers. the stock price has taken a hit, laying people out, a network outage a few years ago, several to the ire of blackberry's users. the market share in 2009 was 20%. it's now 5%. the ceo old "fortune" we have to
6:45 am
win our customers back one by one. they're taking this to the super bowl at this point, in fact r.i.m. bought a 30-second spot, carol and super bowl commercials are said to go for almost $4 million. this is a first for r.i.m. >> we'll see if it works. alison kosik at the new york stock exchange. stay with us for the senate hearing on gun control, scheduled to get under way in just about 15 minutes. we'll have extensive live coverage for you. ♪ alright, let's go. ♪ shimmy, shimmy chocolate. ♪ shimmy, shimmy chocolate. ♪ we, we chocolate cross over. ♪ yeah, we chocolate cross over. ♪ [ male announcer ] introducing fiber one 80 calorie chocolate cereal. ♪ chocolate.
6:46 am
6:47 am
humans were made to make things, that's why we have thumbs. we've gotten away from making so much, there's that instinctive drive to create. i like to think that tech shop helps rekindle that in people and get them back to being makers. there are so many things that come out, it could be little tiny things, it could be big world-changing things. all the things that people do here really just light me up, really excite me. ♪ [ male announcer ] some day, your life will flash before your eyes. make it worth watching.
6:48 am
introducing the 2013 lexus ls. an entirely new pursuit. let's see if walmart's low price guarantee can make you the mvp of savings. look at that price. wow! walmart lowers thousands of prices every week. if you find a lower advertised price, they'll match it at the register. no way! yeah! touchdown! ready? get out! that's the walmart low price guarantee! see for yourself! bring in your last receipt, see how much you can save. see for yourself! get great prices on everything you need for your game time party. like rotel diced tomatoes and popcorn, indiana original kettle corn backed by walmart's low price guarantee. all right, let's head to
6:49 am
capitol hill in the senate judiciary committee. as you can see the room is filling up. soon senators will be asking questions of witnesses who will be testifying about how we can cut down on gun violence in this country. outside this meeting room here, the lines to get in are extraordinarily long. take a look at that. these are people just waiting to get into the hearing, not all of them will get in, of course, because there's limited seating inside. dana bash just reported most of these people are actually gun control advocates, which was kind of surprising because the nra sent an e-mail around last night and also posted a message online urging nra supporters to flood the hearing. maybe they're at the back of the line, who knows. we're going to be covering this hearing as it starts in just about 12 minutes, extensive live coverage for you. we'll be right back.
6:50 am
6:51 am
thyou eat weiyou lose it's a great plan... until you get hungry. that's the time to take slimful. one tasty 90-calorie slimful and a glass of water satisfies hunger for hours making it easier to eat smaller meals, and resist snacking. your friends might think you found the secret to losing weight. but it's no secret... it's slimful. eating less is a beautiful thing.
6:52 am
at 50 minutes past the hour. time to check our top stories. 15 first responders from 9/11 will be the first to get government compensation. most of them are firefighters. "the wall street journal" reporting payments range from $10,000 to $1.5 million. the money is from a fund created by congress that compensates people who got sick after working at the 9/11 site. apple has been granted a trademark for the design of its store. reports say the move came after fake apple stores popped up in china and microsoft and sony opened similar looking stores and that didn't make apple too happy either. talkback question of the day. will god decide who wins the super bowl? this from george. carol, i'm like you. no disrespect intended but god
6:53 am
is everywhere for everyone. god has a plan for everyone. it's great that players are coming out and supporting god. this from michael. man has freewill. god will not decide. from alex, god has as much interest as most humans in paint drying. and from tina, pretty sure this is simply about gifted and blessed men giving god the glory for their talents and i'm certain they don't do so to cause argument. from brenda, wonder if god is thankful for all the money that is spent on this game. continue the conversation, the next hour of "newsroom" after a short break.
6:54 am
music: "make someone happy" music: "make someone happy" ♪it's so important to make meone happy.♪.♪it's so e ♪make just one heart to heart you - you sing to♪ ♪one smile that cheers you ♪one face that lights when it nears you.♪ ♪and you will be happy too.
6:55 am
6:56 am
good morning. thanks so much for joining us. i'm carol costello. just a few minutes from now, lawmakers will weigh into the bitterly decisive fight over gun
6:57 am
control. we'll have live coverage of the testimony from former congresswoman gabrielle giffords and we'll hear from her husband, mark kelly. they lead a campaign against gun violence. we'll listen to the ceo of the national rifle association. his gun lobbying group has reached out to members asking them to attend this morning's hearings. let's head to our washington bureau and cnn's jake tapper. this hearing could be a mic microcosm over the debate ahead. >> reporter: the senate is going to soon consider a new ban on what is called assault weapons. these are semiautomatic rifles and sponsor of that measure, dianne feinstein, is a member of this judiciary committee and will mix it up with the nra's
6:58 am
wayne lapierre. some democrats believe a moderate set of restrictions has a chance of being passed. this is video we shot half an hour ago as people waited in line to get inside the room. it wrapped around the hallway and down a flight of stairs. dana bash is in the room now. dana, you did an unscientific poll of the people in line. who are they? >> most of the people i talked to or who i saw had specific stickers saying position in favor of gun control. the reason it surprised me is we reported that nra sent out an e-mail and alert to members 4.5 million members i should say, urging them to come and support their position on gun rights. it did surprise me there seemed to be more people here in favor of gun control. go ahead. >> the nra is known for being
6:59 am
able to mobilize its supporters. in the past it's been effective and in the recent years not as much in terms of who they back in elections. wayne lapierre, chief executive officer of nra is due to talk today and mark kelly, husband of former congresswoman gabrielle giffords who was shot so infamously two years ago. what can you tell us about their testimony, dana? >> just the optics will be interesting. they will sit at opposite ends of the witness table. there are five people all together. they will be at opposite ends. mark kelly i'm told will start off along with his wife, gabby giffords. i spoke to mark kelly yesterday about his testimony. he said that we're both -- he and congresswoman giffords, are moderate gun owners. they own guns. they have been supporters of gun rights for a long time. he also said that he hopes that they can do something about the safety of our kids and our
7:00 am
communities. one tidbit he told me is that he and gabby giffords used to go together to the nra practice range just outside of washington. he almost joined the nra himself but never got around to it. that's their perspective. and then of course on the other side of the witness table the last person we will hear from will be wayne lapierre who will say a lot of familiar things that we've heard from him over the years but even more specifically since the shootings at newtown he's going to say in fact his prepared remarks say that he's going to say law abiding gun owners will not accept the blame for acts of violence of deranged criminals. expect him to be as combative and defiant for people who own guns as he has in the past. >> i'm sitting here with cnn's crime and justice correspondent joe johns. we were talking about this earlier. senator patrick leahy walks a tight rope on these issues. tell me more about that. >> he's a gun owner. he respects the rights of gun ownership in this country.
7:01 am
reading through his prepared remarks today is pretty clear that he's going to walk a fine line in this hearing. he recognizes the fact that in 2008 the supreme court essentially agreed with justice scalia -- >> washington, d.c.'s gun ban overturned. >> the district of columbia against heller. they upheld the right of people to own guns. the question, of course, here and what you can expect this committee to really drill down on is what is reasonable gun ownership? this is something we haven't heard so much about. there's been a lot of talk about so-called assault weapons. what's reasonable? for example, ar-15s, which are semiautomatic rifles widely considered assault weapons are extremely popular across the united states. police departments use them everywhere. so is it reasonable to ban those are what's unreasonable? the same thing with large capacity magazines for rounds. what is reasonable?
7:02 am
a lot of police departments, a lot of americans all over have large capacity magazines that hold as many as 19 rounds. you can certainly expect all of that to be considered and when you look at the witness list, there are not just gun control advocates. there is a professor from the university of denver law school who is going to talk about what i just talked about. there is a representative of the independent women's forum, women who are strong gun rights activists. you can expect this to be balanced as they get down to what the constitution will bear considering the supreme court's ruling. >> that's really the key question. of course you can make a list of guns and ban them legislatively if they can get through the house which is a challenge. president obama can sign it into law but the pesky supreme court can step in and say you're not allowed to do that and we told you that in 2008 with the heller decision. >> that's absolutely right. this country has been fighting
7:03 am
this issue for years and years. the last time we really fought this battle was in the mid to early 1990s. a lot has changed since then and a lot of views about these firearms have changed as well. >> dana, a couple of the senators on the judiciary committee were trying to bring firearms to the hearing. tell us about that. >> that's right. lindsey graham of south carolina and ted cruz of texas had planned and publicly said that they were asking for permission from the d.c. government and lots of other organizations that they needed to ask permission for to bring in guns to have a show and tell as part of their q and a with these witnesses. they were not able to do that. a spokesman for graham told me that there was just too much red tape particularly because of the fact that d.c. laws are very strict when it comes to guns and especially when it comes to the kind of assault weapons that they wanted to bring in. instead graham at least is going to have pictures, posters of the
7:04 am
kind of guns that he is going to talk about that he wanted to show as part of his q and a. we reported last week on a big press conference that dianne feinstein did and she was able to bring guns in. she had ten displayed on cork boards. she did that after weeks and weeks of discussions with the d.c. police, with capitol police, because bringing assault weapons into the capitol, into d.c. in general but the capitol is not an easy thing to do. >> we can see senator dianne feinstein on the left side of the screen talking with new york senator chuck schumer. these are senior members of the judiciary committee. feinstein of course was the chief author of the so-called assault weapons ban. there is david from the national rifle association. he's there as part of a big show of muscle by that powerful lobbying organization. dana, having covered these type of hearings in the past, sometimes there's a mood. you can sense whether it's
7:05 am
tension, whether it's emotion, obviously congresswoman gabrielle giffords' presence there is worth noting. is there anything discernible that you are detecting? is there tension? angry stares between feinstein and lapierre. >> the best way to describe it is high anticipation. this is the very first hearing of this issue since the shootings at newtown and the first hearing that any congressional committee is having since democrats in particular said they were going to take on the gun issue once again after leaving it alone for more than a decade because it was bad politics for them. i think high anticipation for sure. especially since we've been reporting that gabrielle giffords herself who was a member of this congressional body is going to come and testify on her change of heart frankly on guns since she herself was shot a bullet through the head. she's represented a gun loving district in arizona. she herself is a gun owner.
7:06 am
she is going to sit next to her husband, mark kelly, and give an opening statement talking about the fact that she does believe now there has to be curbs on gun rights and he himself told me that they pretty much support everything that is in dianne feinstein's bill which is pretty strict. a ban on assault weapons. they want to limit magazines to ten clips. he told me if that had happened, six people who died in an attempt to kill gabrielle giffords, many of those people wouldn't have died. >> we're waiting right now for the senate judiciary chairman, pat leahy, democrat of vermont, to come and deliver his opening statement. we've seen the opening statement of lapierre and, joe, what did you discern from his remarks? >> the thing i want to talk about the nra and lapierre is fascinating over the past few days we've been looking at the clout of the national rifle association especially in the last election. the results are actually
7:07 am
surprising. they spent a lot of money on a lot of candidates frankly who lost, which is really interesting. they spent a lot of money trying to defeat people. to some degree the nra is in a position where it has to sort of reassert itself and show its members that it can get things done because they were on the losing end of many races in the last election. wayne lapierre we do expect certainly to stand up for the rights of gun owners in this country. they've been adamant about not liking virtually all of the parts of this assault weapons ban that's been proposed by senator dianne feinstein. on the other hand, they have said again and again that they support more restraints on the mentally ill getting certain firearms and those kinds of things. they have supported that since 1993 but it's something that we haven't been able to get through partially they say because of
7:08 am
the mental health lobby saying we don't want to invade people's privacy and we don't want to create barriers to people getting treatment. >> it's been 47 days since the horrific shooting at newtown, connecticut, with 20 children killed, 26 individuals at sandy hook elementary school killed. in that time, the nra has gained half a million members adding to their 4 million members. having seen wayne lapierre, ceo of nra, having seen his prepared remarks, what tone do you anticipate him taking? >> he's going to be as combative as ever. he has made very clear since that famous press conference that he gave, it wasn't a press conference, it was a long statement. he didn't take reporters' questions but in the days after newtown that he's simply not going to stand by and let in his words, the president and others
7:09 am
take gun owners guns away. he's going to call for arming guards at school and believe that's the best way to combat the violence. also the best way is to put more focus on mental health problems and issues. i think what we're going to hear from him in the opening statement is going to be pretty familiar. obviously the most fascinating is the way he interacts with some of the most ardent supporters of gun control particularly dianne feinstein. when it comes to the two of them i spoke to senator feinstein yesterday about it, they have been to this rodeo before. they were at opposite ends of this back in the '90s the last time and there was significant gun control that passed the crime bill and assault weapons ban and she debated him several times. i asked if there was any kind of back channel, any kind of quiet discussion where they could find any common ground and her answer was no. >> if i can just interrupt for one second. we see there mark kelly and
7:10 am
former congresswoman gabrielle giffords. that is pat leahy, chairman of the senate judiciary committee. the senator from arizona. he knows gabrielle giffords. they used to be in the same congressional delegation when both were members of the house. she resigned after the shooting. there is senator chuck grassley of iowa on the right. he's the ranking republican. and mark kelly, former space shuttle commander and gabrielle giffords live picture heading into the senate judiciary committee. senator al franken of minnesota greeting gabrielle giffords. we remember when she returned to capitol hill what an incredibly emotional moment it was for democrats and republicans. she was a very popular member of the house of representatives. she was in a swing district. had a lot of friends on both sides of the aisle and of course the shooting at the hands of
7:11 am
jared lee loughner who was sentenced to life. a tragic affair with six others killed in that same attack. what's the mood there as former congresswoman giffords make her way through the committee hearing room? >> frankly i think for anybody look iing at her, the mood is o of awe given what happened to her. a bullet through her head. she's able to come and walk through these halls into this hearing room and she will be able to give a statement. no matter what you think of her position now or before on guns, i think this human story of her able to survive and thrive is pretty remarkable. one sort of side note i want to mention, you mentioned jeff flake, the senator from arizona, greeting her. he's a republican. the two of them are very good friends. if things had gone a different way and she had not been shot,
7:12 am
she most definitely would have run for senate against flake. she could be sitting in this hearing room on the other side had things been different. reminds you of how one event can change the course of somebody's life and change the course of a lot of lives. >> dana, this is obviously a very emotional issue because of the sandy hook tragedy and we're reminded two years and a few days after the tragic shooting of congresswoman giffords and six other individuals who were killed in that parking lot in arizona on january 8th, 2011. we're reminded of the emotions in this issue. do you think quickly that it will make a difference or should it even make a difference? hold on one second. we're about to have the hearing begin. senator pat leahy, democrat of vermont, is logging the hearing to order. let's take a listen. >> i ask everyone to be respectful of the senators and witnesses speaking about this
7:13 am
very serious subject. it means -- i do not want applause for or against any position i might take or anybody else takes. capitol police have been notified to remove any audience member that interferes with the orderly conduct of this important hearing. this is a warning i give at many hearings. we'll hear a lot of different perspectives on gun violence. and both senator grassley and i will give opening statements, but we have a former member of congress here, gabby giffords, who is going to give a brief message and captain kelly, thank you for your help in bringing your wife here. ms. giffords?
7:14 am
>> okay. thank you for inviting me here today. this is an important conversation for our children, for our communities, for democrats and republicans. speaking is difficult, but i need to say something important. violence is a big problem. too many children are dying. too many children. we must do something.
7:15 am
it will be hard but the time is now. you must act. be bold, be courageous. americans are counting on you. thank you. >> captain kelly, do you want to help ms. giffords out? we'll give you a few moments.
7:16 am
return to the hearing. i thank former congressman giffords and her husband. we'll be calling up the witnesses shortly. and senator grassley and i will give our opening statements. on december 14th, america's heart was broken when 20 young children and six dedicated educators were murdered. this is the first judiciary
7:17 am
committee hearing of the 113th congress. i want everybody here to join discussions as part of a collective effort to find solutions to help ensure that no family, no school, no community, ever has to endure such a grievous tragedy again. we have to come together today as americans seeking common cause. i hope we can forego partisan recrimination. it's too important for that. we should all be here as americans. every american abhors the recent tragedies. last two years. elementary school in connecticut, movie theater in colorado, a sacred place of worship in wisconsin, in front of a shopping mall in arizona. americans are looking to us for solutions and for action. this committee is a focal point for that process.
7:18 am
i have introduced a measure to provide law enforcement agencies with stronger tools against ill legal gun trafficking. others have proposed restrictions of military-style weapons and the size of ammunition clips. others have proposed modifications to the background check system to keep guns out of the wrong hands while not unnecessarily burdening law abiding citizens. i'm a life-long vermonter. i know gun store owners in vermont. they follow the law. they conduct background checks to block the conveyance of guns to those who should not have them. and they wonder why others who sell guns do not have to follow these same protective rules. i agree with these responsible business owners. if we could all agree that criminals and those adjudicated as mentally ill should not buy
7:19 am
firearms, why should we not try to plug the loopholes in the laws that allow them to buy guns without background checks. it's a matter of common sense. if we agree that background checks are worthwhile, shouldn't we try to improve the content and use it to be more effective. what responsible gun owner objects to improving the background check system? when i bought firearms in vermont, i go through the background check. i would expect everybody else to. at the outset of this hearing, i note that the second amendment is secure and will remain secure and protected. in two recent cases, the supreme court has confirmed that the second amendment, like the other aspects of our bill of rights, secures a fundamental individual right. americans have the right to self-defense. as the court has said to have
7:20 am
guns in their homes to protect their families. no one can take away those rights or the guns. second amendment rights of the foundation of which our discussion rests. they are not at risk. what is at risk are lives. lives are risked when responsible people fail to stand up for laws and keep guns out of the hands of those who use them to commit murder especially mass murders. i ask we focus our discussion on additional statutory measures to better protect our children and all americans. i say this as a parent and as a grandparent. ours is a free society. an open society. we come together today to consider how to become a safer and more secure society. no one begrudges the government assistance provided to victims of mass tragedies made possible
7:21 am
by the law we passed after the bombing in oklahoma city. the bill introduced last week against gun trafficking was similar proved helpful and i believe it will become accepted part of our crime control framework. it is common sense reform. it fills a hole in our law enforcement arsenal so the straw purchases who acquire weapons for criminals can be prosecuted more effectively. last thursday the president nominated the u.s. attorney from minnesota, and we have two from his state here on this committee. nominated u.s. attorney to direct the federal bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives. and i trust that all senators will cooperate in a prompt hearing and action on that nomination and join in good faith to strengthen law enforcement efforts against gun violence and to protect public
7:22 am
safety. as a responsible gun owner, and someone who cherishes all of our constitutional rights, as a senator who has sworn oath to uphold those rights, as a father and a grandfather, and as a former prosecutor who has seen the results of gun violence firsthand in graphic detail, i undertake these efforts with hope that this hearing can build consensus around common sense solutions. previous measures to close the gun show loophole or to improve background check system have been bipartisan. i hope in this new congress further improvements will also become bipartisan. we can act together as americans. now, i understand what kind of measures i can support. i'll ask other senators to come forward and do that as well. i will ask our witnesses what
7:23 am
legislative proposals they support to make america safer, and i thank everybody here for joining in today's discussion. senator grassley. >> mr. chairman, thank you as well for this hearing and thanks to everybody who is here and particularly our witnesses. what happened at newtown shocks our nation. we will never forget where we were or how we reacted when we learned that 20 very young children or six adults were killed that day or if we forgot about that specific incident, you don't forget about all of the tragedies that have happened recently. as a grandfather and great grandfather, i cannot imagine how anyone would commit an evil act like that. i cannot ever begin to know what it would be like to be a relative of one of those slain children. we pray for the families who continue to mourn the loss of loved ones. we pray for all victims of
7:24 am
violence and guns, by guns and otherwise. clearly violent crimes and those who commit them are a plague on our society. one that has been with us for far too long. we have looked at these issues before, but i welcome this renewed discussion. i think the need for the judiciary committee to hold hearings after newtown is very clear. all over america people were appalled by what happened to those vulnerable and precious victims. we all want sensible actions that could reduce the likelihood of future crimes. and we have extended a special welcome to former congresswoman giffords. she was doing what a representative should do. what i hope all of us do. taking the pulse of constituents
7:25 am
to represent them in congress. she was representing the people of her congressional district when a gunman opened fire. the shooting was a horrible tragedy. her determination to overcome her injuries, progress through rehabilitation and continued contribution to society are an inspiration or at least should be an inspiration to all of us. i thank her for being here today and with her husband, captain kelly. although newtown and tucson are terrible tragedies, the deaths in newtown should not be used to put forward every gun control measure that has been floating around for years because the problem is greater than just guns alone, and i think the chairman's speech indicates that as well. any serious discussion of the causes of gun violence must include a complex reexamination of mental health as it relates to mass shootings, society as a
7:26 am
whole has changed as well, and that statement is made. it's difficult for me to measure it but you see a lack of civility in american society has grown considerably in the last couple decades. you see it here in the congress as well when we are partisan and don't treat each other with the respect that we ought to. there are too many video games that celebrate mass killing of innocent people. games that despite attempts at industry self-regulation find their way into the hands of children. an example, one video game released november 2009, which has sold over 22 million copies in the u.s. and u.k. was for foreign distribution because the opening level depicted shooting innocent civilians in an airport security line. this game was specifically cited in a manifesto of the norway mass shooter as "part of my
7:27 am
training simulation" for carrying out his attacks. where is the artistic value of shooting innocent victims? i share vice president biden's disbelief of manufacture denial that these games have no effect on real world violence. above all, we should not rush to pass legislation that will not reduce mass killings. banning guns based on their appearance does not make sense. the 1994 assault weapon ban did not stop columbine. the justice department found the ban ineffective. scholars have indicated that refining or expanding such legislation will not cut gun violence. i also question the limitation on magazine capacity. they can be circumvented by caring many guns as many killers have done. we hear that no one needs to carry larger magazines than those that hunters use to shoot deer.
7:28 am
an attacking criminal unlike a deer shoots back. i do not think that we -- i do think that we may be able to work together to prevent straw purchasers from trafficking in guns. the oversight work that i conducted on illegal fast and furious shows that there are gaps in this area of law that should be closed. besides legislative proposals that the president recently took 23 executive actions on guns and without knowing exactly how they're worded, we can't find fault with them and probably should not find fault with a lot of his actions. despite this administration's claim to be the most transparent in history, the text of these actions is not posted on the white house website. only very brief statements about what they do. all of those executive actions could have been issued four years ago or after the tucson shooting or after aurora.
7:29 am
why only now? one order directs the center for disease control to research causes of gun violence. contrary to what you may have heard, congress has never prohibited cdc from researching gun violence. rather, congress prevented federal research to "advocate or promote gun control" which some government researchers have been doing under the guise of taxpayer supported science. had congress actually prohibited gun violence research, the president could not legally have directed cdc to conduct that research. i was taken aback when the president cited the declaration of independence and constitution as sources of government power to restrict gun ownership rights. the constitution, in fact, creates a limited federal government. it separates powers among branches of the federal government and preserves state power against federal power. the framers believe that these structures would accurately control the government so as to protect individual liberty. but the american people
7:30 am
disagree. they feared that the constitution gave the federal government so much power that it could violate individual rights so the bill of rights was added. each of those rights including the second amendment was adopted to further limit government power and protect individual rights. president obama's remarks turned the constitution on its head. he said, "the right to worship freely and safely, that right was denied to sikhs in oak creek, wisconsin." the right to assemble peacefully was denied to shoppers and movie goers. that most fundamental set of rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness were denied to elementary school students in newtown. end of quote. this is not so except for prohibition on slavery, the constitution limits only actions of government, not individuals.
7:31 am
so for instance the right to peacefully assemble protects individual rights to organize, to protest and seek to change government action. that right is trivialized and mischaracterized as protecting shopping and watching movies and those constitutional rights are not the source of governmental power to enact legislation as the president suggested. just the opposite. they were included in the bill of rights because throughout history governments have wanted to shut up those that want to disarm people. the president cited constitutional protections of individual rights as basis for expanding federal power over the rights of private individuals. this is the same president who exceeded his power under the constitution to appoint recess appointments. so no wonder millions of americans fear that the president might take executive action and congress may enact legislati
7:32 am
legislation. i cannot anticipate the claim that there will be an all out assault on liberty not because it's true but because they want to increase fear. this leads many citizens to fear that their individual rights will be violated. and that extends well beyond the second amendment. it should be a matter of deep concern to all of us. the constitution for 225 years has established a government that is a servant of the people and not the master. so, mr. chairman, as we consider and debate legislation arising from these tragedies, i hope that we will proceed with proper understanding of the relationship that the constitutional establishes between government power and individual liberty and i hope we will pass those bills that would actually be effective in reducing gun violence. i welcome the witnesses and look forward to this hearing. thank you very much. >> thank you.
7:33 am
i would ask that captain mark kelly and our witnesses step forward. stand behind your chairs for a moment while we swear in the panel. please raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear the testimony you will give in this matter will be the truth, nothing but the truth so help you god. the record show that witnesses have been sworn in. take your seats. i'm going to call on each witness. we're going to try to keep to strict time and i'll call on each one to give their testimony, and then we'll open it to questions in the usual way
7:34 am
alternating on both sides. our first witness is mark kelly. he's a retired astronaut and u.s. navy captain. captain kelly recently co-founded americans for responsible solutions. this is an advocacy group that promotes solutions to prevent gun violence and protect responsible gun ownership with his wife, former congresswoman gabrielle giffords. captain kelly, please go ahead, sir. >> thank you, chairman, for inviting me here today. i look forward to constructive dialogue with your committee. i also want to take the opportunity to congratulate gabby's friend and much respected former colleague jeff flake on his new role as arizona's junior senator. as you know, our family has been immeasurably affected by gun violence.
7:35 am
gabby's gift for speech is a distance memory. she struggles to walk and she is partially blind. and a year ago she left a job she loved serving the people of arizona. but in the past two years, we have watched gabby's determination, spirit, and intellect conquer her disabilities. we aren't here as victims. we're speaking to you today as americans. we're a lot like many of our fellow citizens following this debate about gun violence. we're moderates. gabby was a republican long before she was a democrat. we're both gun owners and we take that right and the responsibilities that come with it very seriously. and we watch with horror when the news breaks to yet another tragic shooting. after 20 kids and six of their teachers were gunned down in their classrooms at sandy hook elementary, we said this time must be different. something needs to be done.
7:36 am
we are simply two reasonable americans who have said enough. on january 8th of 2011, a young man walked up to gabby at her constituent event in tucson, leveled his gun, and shot her through the head. he then turned down the line and continued firing. in 15 seconds, he emptied his magazine. it contained 33 bullets and there were 33 wounds. as the shooter attempted to reload, he fumbled. a woman grabbed the next magazine and others restrained him. gabby was the first victim. christina taylor greene, 9 years old, born on 9/11/2001 was shot with the 13th bullet or after. and others folwed. the killer in the tucson shooting suffered from severe mental illness but even after being deemed unqualified for
7:37 am
service in the army, expulsion from a community college, he was never reported to mental health authorities. on november 30th of 2010, he walked into a sporting goods store, passed a background check and walked out with a semiautomatic handgun. he had never been legally adjudicated as mentally ill and even if he had arizona at the time had over 121,000 records of disqualifying mental illness that it had not submitted into the system. looking back, we can't say with certainty only if we had done this this would have never happened. there isn't just one thing that would have prevented the tucson shooting from being written into the history books. gabby is one of roughly 100,000 victims of gun violence in america each and every year. behind every victim lays a matrix of failure and inadequacy
7:38 am
in our families, in our communities, in our values, in our society's approach to poverty, violence and mental illness and, yes, also in our politics and in our gun laws. one of our messages is simple. the breath and complexity of gun violence is great but it is not an excuse for inaction. there's another side to our story. gabby is a gun owner and i'm a gun owner. we have our firearms for the same reasons that millions of americans just like us have guns. to defend ourselves, to defend our families for hunting and for target shooting. we believe completely in the second amendment
7:39 am
7:40 am
7:41 am
7:42 am
captain kelly so teeloquently h spoken about, properly conceived they can work together and reinforce each other. it's important to recognize that the second amendment is not absolute anymore than the first amendment is. it has an absolute core. that can't be violated under any circumstances. that doesn't prohibit all firearms controls. >> excuse me. this won't come out of your time. all of the statements will be put in the record in full. >> thank you. i will keep very close to the time. likewise, gun controls don't violate the second amendment if they are constructed so they don't violate the rights of law abiding citizens and they actually do something constructive to protect law abiding citizens. captain kelly talked about
7:43 am
matrix of failure. i spoke about one thing that turned out to be part of that matrix of failure and that was the ban on so-called assault weapons. i warned during that testimony then that it was based not on function of guns or how fast they fired or how powerful they were but on superficial cosmetic characteristics and accessories. as part of the compromise that led to that bill being mistakenly passed by congress, it had a requirement that the department of justice supervise a study of the effectiveness of that law. the people to carry out that study were appointed by the department of justice and did an interim study and final study and concluded that the law had done nothing. it had not saved lives or reduced number of bullets fired at crimes and it been a failure.
7:44 am
you had a gun with one name instead of another name. it didn't reduce crime overall. indeed it was a dangerous bill in the sense that so much political attention was -- >> we're going to take a break now from the live testimony before the senate judiciary committee. in the first hearing since the newtown, connecticut, shooting, the judiciary committee is looking at the issue of gun violence. we'll play for you some sound from former congresswoman gabrielle giffords. she was shot in an arizona parking lot as you may recall just two years and a few days ago. we're going to take a listen to that sound after this break. this is for real this time. step seven point two one two. verify and lock. command is locked. five seconds. three, two, one.
7:45 am
standing by for capture. the most innovative software on the planet... dragon is captured. is connecting today's leading companies to places beyond it. siemens. answers. yeah we both relieve coughs, sneezing, aches, fevers. and i relieve nasal congestion. overachiever. [ female announcer ] tylenol® cold multi-symptom nighttime relieves nasal congestion. nyquil® cold and flu doesn't. relieves nasal congestion. sfx: horn. ding. ding. how long have i had my car insurance? i don't know. eight, ten years. i couldn't tell ya' but things were a lot less expensive back then. if you're 50 or over you should take a new look at your auto insurance. you may be overpaying.
7:46 am
actually that makes a lot of sense. old policy. old rates. and thanks to your experience behind the wheel, you might save $350 by switching to the aarp auto insurance program from the hartford. plus, you'll get benefits that reward your driving record, like our promise that you won't be dropped. wait, you won't drop me, seriously? that's right, you won't be dropped. and, if you know anyone who's been dropped by their insurance company, you know that's a hassle you don't need. especially these days. plus you'll get recovercare, which helps you pay for everyday needs like housecleaning, lawn care and pet services if you're injured in an accident. so my auto insurance is going to help pay the housecleaning if i'm injured? did you say lawn care? and if i can't walk my dog, they'll help me pay someone to do it for me? call the number on your screen to switch to the aarp auto insurance program from the hartford and be rewarded for your experience behind the wheel.
7:47 am
recovercare, auto insurance that helps take care of me. now i've seen it all. you won't drop me, you take care of me as well as my car, and you offer savings to switch. it's unbelievable! if you're 50 or over call now to request your free quote. i'm gonna call. i'm calling. i'm calling. i'm calling. call today and make the switch to the aarp auto insurance program from the hartford. why wait? welcome back to cnn's coverage of the senate judiciary committee hearings on gun violence. you see there the chairman of the committee, senator patrick
7:48 am
leahy, democrat of vermont himself a gun owner talking to a law professor that's expected to argue against tighter gun control laws. we are waiting for the testimony of the chief executive officer of the national rifle association, wayne lapierre. we will join the committee hearing when he is testifying. i want to play you some of the sound from earlier today when former congresswoman gabrielle giffords, who you may recall was shot in an arizona parking lot slightly over two years ago when she came to testify briefly with her husband, former astronaut mark kelly, and talk about her desire for more gun restrictions. she and her husband formed on the anniversary of her shooting which also took the lives of six other arizonaians including a
7:49 am
9-year-old girl. they formed just a few weeks ago americans for responsible solutions, which has partnered with the brady center to combat gun violence and mayor bloomberg and others that seek further restrictions on guns. here is congresswoman gabrielle giffords from earlier this morning. >> this is an important conversation for our children, for our communities, for democrats and republicans. speaking is difficult but i need to say something important. violence is a big problem. too many children are dying. too many children.
7:50 am
we must do something. it will be hard. but the time is now. you must act. be bold. be courageous. americans are counting on you. thank you. >> that was former congresswoman gabrielle giffords testifying earlier today before the senate judiciary committee. right now the hearing is hearing from baltimore county chief of police james johnson long called for a ban on weapons that have high capacity magazines. dana bash is in the hearing room. dana, one of the big questions going forward is beyond the theatrics of a congressional hearing when you have very
7:51 am
forceful spokespeople such as congresswoman giffords with her emotional story and nra chief executive officer wayne lapierre with his forceful views, what actually can be accomplished? do you sense that democrats who have for the last decade or so resisted in significant enough numbers so as to prevent anything from happening on the gun control front. do you sense there has been a shift or was it more that some of the democrats who had blocked and opposed such measures thinking they were unconstitutional encroachments on the second amendment right to keep and bear arms that their willingness to talk about this after the newtown shooting 47 days ago actually really was more in the heat of the moment and that when it comes down to it, they will not actually support any of the measures being discussed whether it is background checks for private
7:52 am
gun sales or eliminating restrictions on data or the so-called assault weapons, ban further restrictions on semiautomatic rifles. do you believe there's been a shift among conservative democrats? >> reporter: the answer is no. when it comes to putting their finger in the air saying i vote for a piece of legislation to curb strictly curb gun rights, the answer is no. i have not talked to one conservative democrat and we're talking about eight, maybe even close to a dozen in the senate alone who have that position or are from states where there is very active gun rights grassroots and so forth. that being said, that is for sure when it comes to an all out ban on the assault weapons in this country maybe even limiting magazines to ten rounds as you just heard captain kelly talk about. but the thing that i think is most likely still to pass is
7:53 am
univers universal background checks but a way to beef up background checks but even that is difficult to do. that's the honest truth. the change since newtown is the fact that this hearing is going on. democrats -- forget about voting. they didn't want to talk about it. that was true even after gabby giffords was shot and six people were killed at that event. i remember making calls to her colleagues saying now do you think that you'll discuss gun control and now do you think that you'll at least bring it up and have the dialogue start and the answer was -- i didn't even get my sentence out. the answer was no. these are from senior democrats. they were so spooked by the politics of guns and how much it hurt them in southern states and rural states and they feel that over the past decade as they have moved away from talking about gun control, it's helped them gain seats in some of these seats. you have democratic members from states like colorado, from new
7:54 am
mexico, and elsewhere who, you know, i talked to many in the hallway who say that they don't see themselves supporting anything except maybe a way to strengthen background checks. >> in fact, earlier in president obama's first term according to a book, the attorney general eric holder, was talking about greater gun control measures, gun restrictions with the white house chief of staff. then chief of staff rahm emanuel sending a message to him to shut the heck up on guns. of course emanuel being who he is did not use the word heck. a similar sounding word. the democrats in 2006 who delivered nancy pelosi to the speaker's chair from these rural districts, from areas in indiana and north carolina and ones she called the majority makers, these were supporters of gun rights. these were individuals who
7:55 am
opposed any gun control. the question i have for you, dana, is do you think the opposition of many of these conservative democrats is actually their principled position or is this out of concern of if we back these measures, we will lose control of the senate and we will never regain the house? >> reporter: i think the honest answer is it's a combination of both. i have talked to for example the senator from colorado who said that he genuinely is a supporter of gun rights and he represents a state where you have people who have large ranches and they want to have a gun and maybe even to have something bigger than a pistol and he is worried about not giving them that right. it's because he genuinely believes it and also because he understanding politics of his state. that's probably fair to say for a number of these other conservative democrats, majority
7:56 am
makers as you so well put it. it's a combination of political fear and genuine principles on the gun issue. >> if you are joining us right now, we are watching gail trotter. we are watching live the senate judiciary committee hearings on gun violence. we are waiting for testimony of wayne lapierre, chief executive officer of the national rifle association. joe johns is here with me. your thoughts on watching the hearing so far? the emotional testimony of former congresswoman giffords very quickly if you will. do you think that emotion actually ends up having an effect on legislation? >> at this stage, it's hard to say. it was a very emotional moment and i have covered congress for years and i know how those emotional moments go. these are deeply held issues and a lot of them are on principle. when you listen to this hearing at least so far, it's interesting not just where they are going but where they are not
7:57 am
going. not a lot of talk about the assault weapons ban proposed by senator feinstein. they talked about fixing background checks and gun show loophole and also talked a lot about enacting a gun trafficking statute. these sounds like perimeters that the senate thinks they can handle. many don't think they'll get an assault weapons ban through the united states house of representatives. they are talking about things they can agree on and that's a big part of it. mark kelly, one of the most interesting things he said was you got to have a serious conversation about gun violence, which is something the country hasn't talked that much about. >> interesting. you do hear even those individuals who support greater restrictions on guns talking about more modest measures than the so-called assault weapons ban that senator feinstein from california proposed. cnn's special coverage of the senate judiciary committee's hearing on gun violence will continue. we expect the testimony of wayne lapierre when we come back after these brief messages.
7:58 am'd it go? well, dad, i spent my childhood living with monks learning the art of dealmaking. you've mastered monkey-style kung fu? no. priceline is different now. you don't even have to bid. master hahn taught you all that? oh, and he says to say (translated from cantonese) "you still owe him five bucks." your accent needs a little work.
7:59 am
your doctor will say get smart about your weight. i tried weight loss plans... but their shakes aren't always made for people with diabetes. that's why there's glucerna hunger smart shakes. they have carb steady, with carbs that digest slowly to help minimize blood sugar spikes. and they have six grams of sugars. with fifteen grams of protein to help manage hunger... look who's getting smart about her weight. [ male announcer ] glucerna hunger smart. a smart way to help manage hunger and diabetes.

CNN Newsroom
CNN January 30, 2013 6:00am-8:00am PST

News/Business. Latest on the day's top news stories with a focus on global news, trends and destinations. New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 21, Wayne Lapierre 16, Dana 13, Lewis 10, Mark Kelly 10, Nra 9, Kelly 8, Arizona 8, Dianne Feinstein 7, Feinstein 7, Ray Lewis 6, Hartford 6, Obama 5, Atlanta 5, U.s. 5, Vermont 5, Tucson 5, United States 5, America 5, Colorado 4
Network CNN
Duration 02:00:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Virtual Ch. 759 (CNN HD)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 1920
Pixel height 1080
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 1/30/2013